South Kashmir diary: Power crisis, water shortage and lack of MRI facility

GMC Anantnag lacks MRI facility

The patients in south Kashmir have to bear the burden of additional treatment due to non-availability of a crucial MRI facility at Government Medical College (GMC), Anantnag.  The residents told Greater Kashmir that the patients have to travel to Srinagar in case they require the scan.

They said that the non-availability of the facility has significantly enhanced the treatment cost of the patients. “For such patients, the private diagnostic centers at Srinagar are the only choice”, said Mohammad Iqbal, a resident.

He said that the MRI facility was not available even in the neighbouring Kulgam or Shopian districts.  A doctor said that the non-availability of the facility impacted the referral rates.

“The patients who require such scans need to be referred to the tertiary care hospitals thus putting additional burden on them”, he said.

Power crisis in Shopian, Awantipora

Many villages in south Kashmir’s Shopian district are experiencing frequent and unscheduled power outages.  The residents from Chitragam,  Nagbal, Keshew and Handew villages complained about protracted and recurring power cuts in their villages. They said that their areas provided a perfect example of official neglect during the winters. “The power scenario goes further downhill during the months of January and February”, said Mubashir Ahmad, a resident from Chitragam village.

He said that the miseries of people have started aggravating ahead of winters and one could easily imagine the situation in winters. The residents said that the students and patients have to bear the brunt of protracted power cuts. They appealed to the authorities to ensure a seamless power supply in these areas.

Meanwhile, the residents from Awantipora town also complained about the erratic power supply in the area. The residents said that the pesky power cuts have made their lives miserable.

“We seriously do not know if the power department is following any schedule”, said a group of residents. An official told Greater Kashmir that consumers should utilise the electricity judiciously and avoid unauthorised use of electricity.

“The use of crude heating and cooking devices also affects the electricity”, he said.

Water shortage in Meemender

A group of residents from Bren Colony, Meemander, 2 kms from Shopian town, complained about the severe water shortage. The residents said that they were forced to drink the contaminated water in the absence of piped water. They said that the consumption of unfiltered water was bound to result in water borne diseases.

“During the frosty winters it would be very difficult for us to fetch water from the streams or do laundry outside our homes”, they said. Nazir Ahmad, a resident, said that they approached the concerned department several times, but to no avail.

He said that the Jal Shakti Department dumped several pipes in the locality but the execution work was yet to be started. The residents requested the department to lay the pipes before the onset of winters so that they don’t have to suffer during the harsh season ahead.

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